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550 km


70 %




3 %


5550 m




131 m


98 %

Kouvola–Hanko is a 550-km, 8-10 day bikepacking route from the city of Kouvola to the southernmost point of Finland, Hanko, through endless forests and sleepy countryside. The route crosses the Uusimaa and Kymenlaakso area connecting the national parks, recreational areas, cities and villages mostly on gravel and forests roads, offering a diverse range of the nature and culture of Southern Finland.


The Kouvola–Hanko is also the longest route of the South by Cycle Bikepacking Route Network, offering 550-kilometre and 8-10 day gravel rich tour. Throwing in a couple of rest days, Kouvola-Hanko is a laid-back, just a little short of fortnight escapade into the lush and versatile nature of Southern Finland and it's culture, including skinny-dipping, forest roaming, berry picking, camp fires and having an opera of bird singing as your alarm clock.

The route cuts across the Kymenlaakso and Uusimaa area, including the Helsinki metropolitan area, visiting Nuuksio and Sipoo Natural parks, the prettiest recreational areas and the main cities and villages of the 13 municipalities in the area.  The majority of the route is gravel roads and dirt forest roads, spiced up with occasional sections of  smooth and easy single track, which lead from village to village visiting the publicly managed fire rings, lean-tos and free camping areas. 

There are 56 000 lakes of over one hectare in Finland and roughly a 1000 of those are in the route area. Therefore, there are possibilities for a swim usually multiple times a day and most of the recommended camping areas are by either a lake or a river, as well. Additionally, part of the route follows the southern coast line of Finland, giving it a scenic duality of the wall-like forests of inner lakelands and the open views of the coast to the Gulf of Finland.

By the Every Man's Rights, everyone has the freedom to roam the nature, forage, fish (with certain limitations) as well as camp (nearly) anywhere, despite whoever owns or occupies the land. This creates the backbone of the Finnish outdoor culture and is a treat for self-sufficient tourer's as well: in case of a mechanical, multi-hour midday nap or full-day beach party, it's ok by law to camp where ever you find yourself at dusk.  However, the arctic flora & fauna is sensitive and fragile and it's good to stick with the official recommended areas to camp. Usually they offer a fire ring with firewood, log-style picnic tables, a lean-to or a cooking shelter by a lake and a compost toilet, so reaching those gems is very much worth it. 

The route crosses on most days multiple restaurants, cafés, restaurants and grocery stores a day, so food & water wise touring is straight forward and you get away with max half-a-days rations and usually less. There is also many of historical and cultural sites along the way, including old ironwork villages, old villas and manors, and the mediaval river town of Porvoo, for instance. 


As all the the South by Cycle routes, Kouvola-Hanko is also designed to be skinny-tires & family friendly easy riding. The longer distance and easy single track here and there grant the route a difficulty grade of 6/10, which falls in the sweet spot of being doable as your first multi-day bikepacking trip, but still having the ingredients for an exciting ride even for more experienced. A minimum tire size of 45mm is recommended, thinking of a couple of softer parts and the single track sections, but more experienced get away with narrower tires as well. Going light is a bonus, but not a necessity, as riding mostly non-technical and uphills short. Therefore, you can strap on your bike what ever gear you have, however you see fit!

The Kouvola-Hanko route can toured self-sufficient using the campsites and wilderness shelters on the way,  but also completely without camping gear, sleeping in B&Bs and hotels – at least when you have booked your accommodation well in advance. The best way to enjoy the route is probably to combine the best of both worlds, enjoying a perfect mix of the best camping sites and the most interesting guesthouse options. 

Read more about the route and a detailed route description in the 'Trail notes' blow...


The Western Uusimaa Loop, Ring G, Nuuksio National Park Overnighter and Sipoonkorpi National Park Overnighter use parts of the Hanko–Kouvola trail, and if there is no time for a longer trip, they also offer a taste of the Kouvola–Hanko route. 


In addition, the M/S J.L. Runeberg steamship carries passengers on the Helsinki–Porvoo–Loviisa route in the summertime. By taking the ship, you can cycle the Loviisa-Porvoo-Helsinki part of the trail as a weekend trip or Porvoo–Helsinki as an overnight trip.

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Due to track work, VR will replace some long-distance trains between Helsinki and Turku with buses which also affects to connection between Helsinki and Hanko. From 24 June to 28 July all trains between Helsinki and Turku are replaced by buses. From 29 July to 10 October there will be occasional early morning and late evening bus replacements between Helsinki and Turku.

The buses replacing long-distance trains will continue from Kupittaa to the Turku Central Railway Station and, around the departure and arrival times of ships, also to the Port of Turku and vice versa. More detailed timetables will be published on 15 May, and tickets for the replacement buses will become available at the same time.You can find the most up-to-date information on the replacement bus services and timetables through the trip search.

Bike transport: If there is space in the luggage compartment of the bus, you can take your bike with you. Please note that it is not possible to book a place for a bike in advance. If there is no room for your bike on the bus, you can travel on the next departure with your original ticket.

You will find the stops of the replacing buses here. You will find more information about the traffic interruption and answers to frequently asked questions from here.

  • Kouvola esker landscape gravel roads and Jyräänjoki River rapids

  • Rolling forest road from the Kouvola Enäjärvi village road to the Sippola art village 

  • Lake Korjärvi lean-to, lake forest and sauna

  • Strömfors, Fiskars, Billnäs, Forsby ironworks villages and Mustio Manor with water landscapes and services

  • Loviisa, Tammisaari and Porvoo Old Town colourful wooden house alleys with cafés and restaurants

  • National parks of Nuuksio and Sipoonkorpi and Västerby recreation area

  • Kuusijärvi smoke sauna 

  • Keravanjoki and Vantaanjoki riverside trails 

  • Lohjanharju and Lohjanjärvi lakeside trails

  • Dagmar’s spring and nature reserve on the Hankoniemi Peninsula

  • Smooth and flowing single tracks of Hanko peninsula, with it's many sand beaches and picturesque villas

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Photos: Poppis Suomela, Teemu Oksanen and Taneli Roininen

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